Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer– oh, wrong Jerry.
On Saturday, Dustin commented on the unique tone of Jerry Tipton’s Big Blue Madness piece. Jerry points out in his story that the University of Kentucky may have to report a secondary violation. From Jerry’s H-L/KentuckySports.com published piece:
He talked about a program “rooted in integrity” and always “run with class.”
One hopes the possible secondary NCAA rules violations committed by the crowd when it chanted prospects’ names were a misstep to be written off to runaway zeal. That happened four times, each an apparent violation of NCAA rule 13.11.4 which forbids the chanting of prospects’ names at an event open to the public.
And he mentioned it again on his blog, as a “Low” point of Big Blue Madness:
— Fans chanting the names of prospects, including Michael Gilchrist more than once, C.J. Leslie more than once and Tobias Harris. According to NCAA rule 13.11.4, such chanting is a no-no.
Jerry cites NCAA ByLaw 13.11.4, which does not exist. Everybody makes mistakes: Hell, I said Rich Brooks played at Oregon in the night post. In my Real past, I’ve been part of a newspaper environment. I know how difficult it is for copy editors and editors to catch every single factual mistake. Jerry citing the incorrect ByLaw is not a big deal.
I contacted UK Athletics for a clarification. They pointed me to NCAA ByLaw 13.10.5, which states:
13.10.5 Prospective student-Athlete’s visit. A member institution shall not publicize (or arrange for publicity of) a prospective student-athlete’s visit to the institution’s campus. Further, a prospective student-athlete may not participate in team activities that would make the public or media aware of the prospective student-athlete’s visit to the institution (e.g., running out of the tunnel with team, celebratory walks to or around the stadium/arena, on-field pregame celebrations). Violations of this bylaw do not affect a prospective student-athlete’s eligibility and are considered institutional violations per Constitution 2.8.1. (Revised: 1/14/97, 9/12/03)
This is probably the ByLaw that the UK Compliance office had in mind when they released a statement before Big Blue Madness (as republished by the Cat Scratches blog):
Just a reminder …The NCAA prohibits an institution from publicizing any prospect’s visit to campus. This includes publicizing the names of specific prospects and chanting the prospect’s name. One institution recently had to report a secondary violation because their fans held up signs with a prospect’s name. Another institution has been contacted by the NCAA to investigate whether or not the school was involved with the chanting of another prospect’s name.
(Note: Emphasis and hyperlink of the above blockquoted text is from the original CS blog.)
Remember ByLaw says 13.10.5, “A member institution shall not publicize…”. Within all the recruit publicity NCAA ByLaws of Article 13.10, I see plenty of rules that address member institutions, media groups, prospective student-athletes… but none to attendees of events open to the public. I couldn’t find an official definition of the term “member institution” within the full D-I NCAA Manual (link to PDF download). So I’m unsure if people who bought a ticket and attended Big Blue Madness, but do not work for or are affiliated with UKAA, are considered part of the “member institution” under NCAA ByLaws.
Regardless, there seems to be a fine line here. Notice that UK Compliance referenced an explicit case where Duke students displayed signs welcoming Kyrie Irving on his official visit in Durham. There was also some discussions on a KU Message Board where attendees of KU’s Madness event debated if making “fatheads” of the recruits — huge signs that feature just a recruits’ face — were violating NCAA ByLaws.
To sum up, Jerry may be right about UK needing to report a secondary violation for the chanting during Big Blue Madness. However, if that is the case, the NCAA Secondary Violation inbox should be quite full by Tuesday, since UK is clearly not just the only member institution with overzealous fans.